A “cycle of poverty” is when a community is trapped within a set of factors that means that poverty will continue generation after generation until there is outside intervention. Poverty becomes a cycle when a poor family stays this way for more than three generations, because at this point the family does not have any living relatives who can transmit the social or intellectual capital that is needed to escape from poverty.
Families that are trapped in the cycle of poverty have limited or no resources. They have a serious lack of education, connections and financial capital, which gives them disadvantages that further hold them back. When people are in this situation, they will remain poor for the rest of their lives as the situation cannot easily be changed.
In developing countries, poverty begins in childhood when babies are born to poor and malnourished mothers. Because these babies are born into poor families, the children will enter into a cycle of poverty that will be very difficult to break. When the children are malnourished, they are unable to perform well and develop to their full potential. There are very few work opportunities available to them and they suffer from disease, malnutrition and death. They will be doomed to have a low family income throughout their lives, which will continue the cycle to their children.
Children are the ones most at mercy of the cycle of poverty, because they are dependent on the situation of their parents. They will gain scars from experiencing poverty at such a young age, which they will carry with them their entire lives. Childhood is when all of the foundations are created for the abilities and motivation in adult life, so children will grow up only knowing poverty and will continue it in the next generation.
How Do We Help?
There are many ways that Plan UK helps to break the cycle of poverty and lift families out of this situation. They offer children, families and communities the tools that they need – such as healthcare, education and access to clean water and sanitation, so that they can break out of the cycle of poverty.
In order to break this cycle, we need to pay attention to children. The children of the community are the future and they offer the opportunity to break out of a cycle of poverty. Plan UK helps to build schools and trains educational workers. Educational initiatives will help people in this situation to gain the skills that they need to make a living and provide for their families. Plan UK also helps to build health centres and trains health workers, offering healthcare to many developing communities around the world. The charity has also set up thousands of water sanitation facilities, so that communities can have access to clean water and decrease the spread of waterborne disease and illnesses.
To find out more about how we help to break the cycle of poverty, visit the website at http://www.plan-uk.org/sponsor-a-child/ to find about child sponsorship today.